Monday, February 08, 2010
By Patson Chilemba
Mon 08 Feb. 2010, 04:01 CAT
LUSAKA lawyer Wynter Kabimba yesterday challenged former president Frederick Chiluba to sue those who call him a thief and not just concentrate on those who are calling for the stripping of his benefits.
And Kabimba has dared Chiluba to take legal action against him for calling for the withdrawal of the benefits he enjoys as former president, warning that Chiluba would regret his action.
Meanwhile, Ng’andu Magande said it will be too bad if Dr Kenneth Kaunda fails to speak about the stripping of his presidential benefits during the Chiluba administration.
Reacting to Chiluba’s threat to take legal action against his critics that are calling for the withdrawal of his benefits following his involvement in politics, Kabimba wondered what was more damaging to Chiluba between being called a thief and calls for his benefits to be withdrawn because he was back in active politics.
“In fact, the reason why the man has become jittery about this issue is because he knows that we are right, otherwise he would have ignored us. And secondly, what would be more damaging, to be called a thief and against being called ‘you are back in politics’?” Kabimba asked. “He has not sued in the past for being called thief, but he is very quick now to say ‘I am suing Magande and all those that are saying that I am back in politics’, because he wants to be eating both ways. So for us, we are not letting him go on this matter until he stops his activities.”
On the threats to sue him and others, Kabimba asked Chiluba and his spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba to stop acting like they were qualified lawyers.
“The first piece of advice to them really is that if they want to become lawyers, the University of Zambia is open, they can go and study law, and then be able to render this nation legal advice or interpretation of the law. They cannot do that as laymen. The Article he is referring to Article 42 (3) and CAP 16 of the Laws of Zambia in the Constitution, which is talking about an intention to hold elective office, the decision of that intention is subjective on the part of a former president,” Kabimba said.
“And for us that are watching Chiluba go round the country, we can only deduce from his activities, especially following his third term bid which he lamentably failed that the man is back in active politics, and will soon be seeking an elective office in the MMD, because firstly if you remember, Mr Chiluba had resigned from MMD. He actually made a public pronouncement and said ‘I have resigned my membership of the MMD’.
“He then rendered support to the PF, and in fact he had joined PF. He later came round and said ‘levy has died’, which was again his statement. He must listen to what he says ‘I am now going back to MMD, the party which I founded’, when it is not even true. “MMD was founded by Aka and Derrick Chitala.”
Kabimba said Chiluba went back to the MMD and made a pronouncement that people should vote for President Rupiah Banda.
He said PF did not argue with that because it was his constitutional right to express a choice over the candidates.
“But contrast that with what he is doing now, going to a block of flats in Ndola, Itawa, addressing the residents there, promising them that when ‘I leave this place, I am going back to tell the President to sell you these flats’. And after he leaves that place, the Minister of Local Government is directed to inspect these flats. This is what a politician does, and hence our position that the man is back in active politics,” Kabimba said.
“That clearly he has an intention to seek elective office in the MMD. That is how we interpret his activities. That is subjective because it puts the onus on the person to make pronouncements that yes, I am seeking public office. For us who are looking at him, we can interpret his intentions from his activities.”
Kabimba said Chiluba’s activities were expressive of the intention on one’s part to seek elective office because he tried to go for a third term in the past.
He said he was more than experienced in matters of the courts, and could not be shaken by any action that Chiluba would take.
“He must also know that we know so much about him, so if he wants to take that risk, let him be my guest. Let him be my guest if he wants to take that risk. I am sure he will regret it at the end of the day. That is what I can tell him,” said Kabimba.
Former finance minister and currently the MMD’s Chilanga member of parliament Magande asked Dr Kaunda and come out and speak.
“If he doesn’t then it’s too bad. We cannot be fighting for people who are around and they are not speaking for their right; we are dealing with actual examples, we are not dealing with theory. That is why I think ask Dr Kaunda why he wasn’t paid his terminal benefits,” he said.
Magande said it was Chiluba’s prerogative to take legal action
“Now me I will just go and read the law. If he says that is what the law says, let him interpret it then we will go to the records of what happened in the past,” he said.
Magande said Chiluba has admitted that he was campaigning for President Banda by admitting that it was his constitutional right to support a candidate of his choice.
He said if Chiluba already knew that his friend, President Banda would be the MMD’s presidential candidate, then the MMD was wasting people’s time over the convention.
Chiluba on Saturday threatened to take legal action against his critics that are calling for the withdrawal of the benefits he enjoys as former president.
Those he threatened with legal action include Post Newspapers, senior chief Bright Nalubamba, chief Chona, Kabimba and Magande.